‘Written threat’: PM Imran Khan sees ‘foreign hand’ behind efforts to topple his government
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday revealed that “foreign elements” are involved in the attempts to topple his government and said, “some of our own people” are being used in this regard.
The premier was speaking during one of the “biggest” rallies in his party’s history at the Parade Ground in Islamabad as the Opposition has geared up to oust the premier from office through the no-confidence motion, the session for which is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Monday).
The premier, while flashing a letter before the public, said that he has “written evidence” that “money has been pouring in from abroad,” while “some of our people are being used to topple the government.”
He said that for months, “plotting and planning were being carried out to destabilise the economy of Pakistan from the outside.”
“We know who is behind it,” the premier said, adding that “there are a lot of things that will be revealed before the nation but at the right time.”
“The nation wants to know who the man in London [Nawaz] meets and they also wish to find out who is instructing those politicians living in Pakistan.”
He said that the government has “evidence” of foreign hands in Pakistan’s matter but refrained from giving too much information, saying that since he “cares for the security and interest of the country, he was not at liberty to share further details.”
Referring to the PPP and PML-N, he said that ever since the two political families came to power, the country has lagged behind in all domains.
“I have been struggling against them for the last 25 years and I never fight for so long for personal interests,” he said.
A few days ago, the premier had said that he would “surprise” the Opposition a day before the no-confidence motion session, adding that he is yet to lay his cards on the table.
At the beginning of his address, the premier thanked the attendees of the jalsa for responding to his call and gathered in Islamabad from every part of the country. The premier also lauded his team for arranging the jalsa.
“I pay tribute to my team and the nation [for making this jalsa possible]. Thank you for making me happy,” he said. “Today, I will have a heart-to-heart conversation with the nation.”
The premier, while responding to the criticism about him using religious references during his political speeches, said that when he joined politics 25 years ago, it was for the sake of the ideology of Pakistan.
“Nations are built on ideologies, and the ideology on the basis of which Pakistan came into being was Islam,” he said. The premier then added that he learned through his experience of living in the West that the true teachings of Islam were followed over there instead of Pakistan.
“I learned about the concept of a welfare state after living in the United Kingdom,” he said. “This was exactly the model on which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had established the state of Madinah.”
He said that Muslims ruled the world for a long time as they followed in the footsteps of the holy prophet (PBUH).
“Based on those ideals, I envisioned a welfare state in Pakistan and Alhamdulillah, we have already started a journey on that path. I am proud of the fact that we have introduced a health system in the country based on the principles of welfare.”
The premier then lauded his government’s efforts in terms of the Ehsaas programme, providing housing loans to the poor, and providing a Rs250 billion subsidy to reduce the prices of petrol and electricity.
“Today, I assure you that as I will continue to collect money through taxes, I will utilise that money for the betterment of the country.”
“InshaAllah, once we complete our five-year term, history will show that no other government worked as much as the PTI government did [for the development of the country].
Taking a jibe at the Opposition, the premier called out their “corruption” and said that those robbers continued saving each other by using the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the last 30 years.
“These three rats [opposition bigwigs] have been looting the country for three decades and these three have been trying to destabilise my government from day one,” he said.
PM Imran Khan said that it was because of former president General Musharraf that these corrupt politicians got away with their wrongdoings through the NRO.
“Musharraf pushed the country into turmoil by giving NROs to these corrupt leaders just to save his own government,” he said. “Whether I lose my government or my life, I am never going to forgive them.”
He said that the Opposition vowed to send the government packing, claiming that the country was undergoing turmoil, however, he added that it was only the PTI-led government that demonstrated unprecedented performance.
The premier then recapped the achievements of his government, including how the country steered itself out of the coronavirus pandemic and how its economy remained stable while the whole world was struggling.
“I was criticised for not imposing a complete lockdown but later on, the whole world appreciated our strategy of smart lockdowns as we saved our country, our economy, and the livelihoods of the poor.”
The prime minister then talked about how the country established records in terms of economy, exports, tax collection, agriculture, remittances, and construction, among other domains.
He talked about the construction of dams in the country and the resolution of water problems.
The premier then addressed the media of the country, especially news anchors, to invite economic experts so that they could assess how the government achieved targets.
The premier then talked about the construction of Ravi city, which is being constructed to save Lahore and the Ravi River and the masterplans of other cities. He also talked about the Reko Diq project and the work the government did to alleviate the condition of Balochistan.
“None of the Opposition leaders, in the past 30 years, could work on these developments.”
PM Imran Khan then said that due to “PPP’s corruption during its tenure”, the country had to pay a fine worth Rs200 billion after negotiation with
Turkey. “In this way, we helped the country get rid of that debt.”
Referring to the no-confidence motion, the premier then talked about the “conspiracy” hatched against him.
“When I had joined politics more than two decades ago, I had the resolve never to bow before anyone except for Allah,” he said. The whole world respects a person who respects himself. No one respects a disgraceful person, even if they earn billions.”
Talking about the previous government, the premier said that former leaders deviated from the path of righteousness as prescribed by Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and resorted to bowing before the superpower and the International Monetary Fund.
PM Imran Khan said that the country kept receiving threats because of the actions of the previous leaders. “Governments had been changed in the country through the assistance of our own people”, he said.
He said when former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto tried to introduce an independent foreign policy for the country, at the time, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the “fugitive Nawaz Sharif” started a campaign against Bhutto.
“Bhutto had been hanged because of their conspiracies and it is a matter of shame that Zardari and Bilawal have joined hands with those [conspirators].”
Sham Idrees announces break in his marriage with Froggy
YouTube’s famous couple Sham Idrees and Froggy aka Sehar are taking sometime away from each other in their relationship.
Sham, taking it to his Instagram, left his fans in a shock after announcing his separation with Froggy. He wrote: “I would like to announce that me and froggy are taking sometime away from each other in our relationship. Please don’t involve me in issues concerning froggy, rabil or any of the other family members. I appreciate some privacy during this difficult time.”
Sham is a Canadian based YouTuber, who has a following of 1.4 million people on Instagram, is widely-known for his entertaining content. His videos often feature his wife Sehar along with him.
The couple tied the knot a few years ago and is parents to baby Sierra who is two-years old. The duo welcomed another daughter on September 28, 2022. They named her Shanaya Idrees.
After the birth of his first daughter, Sham Idrees also introduced his fans to his daughter Dua from his previous marriage.
Massive power breakdown hits Pakistan
- Minister says power generation units are temporarily shut in winter at night.
- Says frequency variation in national grid triggered outage.
- Says ministry trying to restore power in next 12 hours.
LAHORE/KARACHI/QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: A countrywide power breakdown, triggered by a “frequency variation” in the national grid early Monday morning, has left large parts of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta without electricity.
Power Minister Khurrum Dastagir, while talking to Geo News, said that the power generation units are temporarily shut down in winter at night as an economic measure to save fuel costs.
“When the systems were turned on at 7:30am this morning one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu. There was a fluctuation in voltage and power generating units were shut down one by one due to cascading impact. This is not a major crisis,” said the federal minister as the country plunged into darkness for the second time in four months.
The minister said that his ministry has started restoring some grid stations in Tarbela and Warsak.
“Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and some grids of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) have already been restored,” claimed the minister.
Talking about the breakdown in Karachi, the minister said that the matter in the port city is complicated as it has a complete electric supply system.
“We provide K-Electric about 1,000-1,100 megawatts routinely, however, it will be restored within a few hours. It is not certain how long will it take to sort this issue. However, my target is to restore electricity in the country in the next 12 hours,” said the minister.
Before the energy ministry’s announcement, different power distribution companies had confirmed the breakdown.
According to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), the two transmission lines have tripped leaving 22 districts of Balochistan, including Quetta without power.
Karachi power update
Meanwhile, K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana said that at approximately 7:34am today, the national grid experienced a loss of frequency, affecting the power supply to multiple cities across Pakistan
“This has also cascaded to KE’s network affecting power supply to Karachi,” Rana said, adding the KE’s network is safe and protected.
“Our teams are actively monitoring the situation and enabling restoration efforts.”
An IESCO spokesperson said that its 117 grid stations were without electricity.
Meanwhile, PESCO also confirmed the outage in areas where it supplies electricity.
This is the second time within four months that a country was hit by a major power breakdown.
NEPRA takes notice
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), in a statement, said that it has taken “serious notice” of the power outage and directed the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) to submit a “detailed report”.
The statement also said that the regulator has previously imposed fines on similar outages in the 2021 and 2022. It also shared that NEPRA has consistently issued directives and recommendations on tackling such events in future.
In October of last year, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Multan, and Faisalabad were hit by a power outage.
At that time, the power minister said that nearly 8,000 megawatts of power went offline.
Back then, Dastagir had said that the simultaneous faults in two power lines, which had triggered the breakdown, at the same time was concerning for the government. He had also announced that an in-depth inquiry was ordered and promised action.
A timeline of power breakdowns in Pakistan
The country’s generation and distribution network has suffered eight major power breakdowns during the last nine years.
In 2014 and 2017, nationwide blackouts were caused by a fault in Tarbela Power Station while fog, frequency variation and the Guddu Power Plant fault were blamed for breakdowns in 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Every time the party in power announced to conduct a comprehensive probe and vowed to rectify the issues but nothing has happened despite multiple inquiries.
Punjab ordered to issue divorce certificates to non-Muslims
- Lahore High Court directs provincial authority to frame rules within 90 days.
- Petitioner says issue is faced by many members of Christian community.
- NADRA’s Registration Policy allows change of marital status on basis of affidavit.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday directed the Punjab government to frame, within 90 days, rules under which union councils would issue divorce certificates to members of Christian and other non-Muslim communities in Pakistan.
In many parts of the country, the divorce certificates are not issued to non-Muslims by union councils that instead claimed such certificates were “not issued to the Christian community.” This is an issue for members of the said community because, without a divorce certificate, they cannot request the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to update their marital status while applying for the renewal of their identity cards.
The matter was brought to the attention of the LHC during the case Shumaila Sharif vs the secretary union council etc.
The petitioner in her appeal requested that the court is a writ of Mandamus — an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly — against the relevant union council and direct it to issue her the divorce certificate.
The case proceedings
The petition was heard on December 16 last year and the presiding judge was Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh.
During the proceedings, the counsel of the petitioner, Advocate Umar Saeed, said that the issue was faced by several people in the Christian community and was not a one-off incident.
Citing Section 33 (1)(j) of the Punjab Local Government Act 2022 (PLGA 2022) — which mandates that union councils ensure registration of births, deaths, marriages and divorces for all the communities without discrimination — and Article 36 of the Constitution, which expressly requires the state to protect the minorities’ legitimate rights and interests, the counsel argued that by refusing to issue the requisite certificate, the council was failing to fulfil its legal duty.
Additionally, Advocate Kashif Alexander, the court’s amicus curiae on the matter, contended that obtaining a divorce certificate is a legal right that cannot be denied.
Together the two emphasise that while the Constitution of Pakistan (1973) does not explicitly guarantee the right to identity, Article 9 (right to life) and Article 14 (dignity of man) safeguard that right. Therefore, any citizen whose marital status changes due to the dissolution of marriage by divorce has a fundamental right to obtain a divorce certificate from the competent authority and then have their CNIC updated/revised.
The Additional Advocate General has little to defend the respondents and said that the provincial government was taking steps to address the complaints of the Christian community regarding the non-issuance of divorce certificates.
During the proceedings, it was brought to the court’s attention that NADRA’s Registration Policy dated 06.04.2021 (Version 5.0.2) allowed a change of marital status of a divorcee on the basis of an affidavit in the prescribed form.
In light of this, the court directed that until the provincial government framed the requisite rules needed for the issuance of the divorce certificate by the union council, NADRA shall accommodate the Christian community in accordance with the Registration Policy 19.
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